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Hofstra University Honors College

Guidelines for Preparation of Individually Negotiated Honors (INHO) Option Proposals

  • Getting Started
    • During the mid-semester advisement and registration period (in the semester prior), students begin thinking about how they would like to earn HUHC honors credits in the following semester.
    • Students who opt to pursue an INHO will contact the professor to ask if she or he would be willing to develop a proposal to enrich a course for honors credit.
    • Professors are not required to agree and accommodate the student. The student should accept and respect the professor’s decision.
    • If the professor agrees, s/he will discuss the student’s general interests in the course and develop a set of enrichments to the regular course assignments within the deadline for the submission of New Honors Options (usually the last week of classes in the semester prior).
  • What does it mean to “enrich a course?”
    • The enrichments will vary with respect to the particular course, professor, and discipline or department in which the course is offered. Some honors options require students to read additional articles from secondary literature and write short commentaries on them, or track instances in which the course subject matter features in the media; others require students to write longer versions of the course’s existing written assignments or complete additional problem sets. We encourage professors to draw on both their expertise and creativity to design enhancements that will appeal to students’ particular interests in the course topic.
    • Regardless of the nature of each assignment, all enrichments should lead to a deeper, more sophisticated and meaningful engagement with the material of the regular course.
    • Note well, though, that the impact of the enhancements should be primarily qualitative in nature, rather than quantitative. We look for a modest-to-moderate increase in a student’s workload; enrichments should not pose an undue burden that prevents the student from accomplishing the base requirements of the course.
    • Although enrichment plans will vary, all proposals should provide explicit plans for regular student/faculty meetings and steps to ensure that the honors work is undertaken throughout the semester rather than in a rush at the end.
    • Proposals for honors options should also include increased opportunities for faculty/student contact. Honors options will involve scheduled meetings (during or outside of regular office hours) to discuss and review the enrichment assignments which go beyond topics covered in regular class sessions. Typically, faculty and students arrange a series of meetings throughout the semester, although the precise type and timing of such contact will vary according to the subject matter and the instructor’s estimation of the most effective way to guide students in their work.
  • Grading Honors Options
    • While discussing the basic structure of the INHO’s requirements faculty should have a conversation with the student about their grading policy when it comes to INHO’s. Students should know what the grading strategy will be at the beginning of the semester in which the INHO is taken if not before.
  • Putting Together a Successful Proposal
    • To submit a proposal faculty should use Firefox or Google Chrome and complete the Honors Option Proposal Form. It calls for contact and course information, a brief overall description of the enrichments and their rationale relative to the course as it is normally offered, and a copy of the regular course syllabus with the enrichment plan included along with a suggested schedule for Honors work in relation to regular coursework. Alternatively, the faculty may upload an original syllabus and a separate schedule of honors enrichment assignments. In cases where the faculty is offering a course for the first time and has not finalized a sample syllabus, a “draft syllabus” might be substituted, with the understanding that significant changes may be made by the time the course is offered.
  • Review and Approval Process
    • HUHC reviews INHO proposals to make certain that the enrichments are neither too much work or too little, and that the assignments are specific, clear, and distributed throughout the semester at regular intervals. All honors options should involve regular and ongoing professor/student interaction, assignments and review of work.
    • HUHC considers the review process to be a collaborative effort undertaken in partnership with the participating faculty. The goal each semester is to approve all proposals. When HUHC requests clarification regarding a proposal it typically involves questions regarding the amount of work (either too much or too little) or the feeling that greater specificity would benefit the student and make it more likely that s/he will successfully complete the assignments. The HUHC office is happy to work with faculty toward the goal of ensuring that students can pursue honors options in any course that excites their passion.
    • Students and professors receive a formal email indication of the approval of the INHO proposal.
  • Compensation and Notations
    • Faculty will receive compensation for each student who undertakes in honors option in his/her course according to a formula negotiated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    • Students receive a notation of honors credit earned for the specific course on their transcript.
  • Help along the way

    Students or faculty with any questions about the INHO process are encouraged to contact the Honors College Associate Dean Vimala Pasupathi for assistance. Call 516-463-4842, or email Vimala.pasupathi[at]hofstra.edu.